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Three Strangers (1946)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 28 January 1946 (USA)
Three strangers, each with a serious problem in their lives, share a sweepstakes ticket which they wished upon together before a Chinese idol.

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Writers:

(original screenplay), (original screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Johnny West
...
Icey Crane
...
Bertram Fallon
Marjorie Riordan ...
Janet Elliott
...
Prosecutor
Rosalind Ivan ...
Lady Rhea Belladon
...
Junior Clerk
Peter Whitney ...
Timothy Delaney aka Gabby
...
David Shackleford
Clifford Brooke ...
Senior Clerk
Doris Lloyd ...
Mrs. Proctor
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Storyline

According to a legend, if three strangers gather before an idol of Kwan Yin (the Chinese goddess of fortune and destiny) on the night of the Chinese New Year and make a common wish, Kwan Yin will open her eyes and her heart and grant the wish. In London 1938 on the Chinese New Year, Crystal Shackleford has such an idol and decides to put the legend to the test. She picks two random strangers off the street, and puts the proposition to them. They decide that an ideal wish would be for a sweepstakes ticket they buy equal shares in to be a winner. After all, everyone needs money and a pot is very easy to divide equally, right? Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

BREATHTAKING SUSPENSE - THRILLS! (original ad - all caps)


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 January 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

3 Desconhecidos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Robert Osborne of TCM, this film was at one point intended to be a sequel to "The Maltese Falcon." Following the success of that film, Warner Bros. wanted to make a sequel. Falcon write/director John Huston said he'd previously written an un-filmed scrip for Warner Bros. that would be appropriate and would only required the character names to be changed to the Humphrey Bogart, Sydney Greenstreet and Mary Astor characters. However, Warner Bros. discovered they did not own the rights to the characters except for their appearance in "The Maltese Falcon." See more »

Quotes

Jerome K. Arbutny: I'll stay and witness your miracle as you call it. If it happens at midnight, we have only five minutes to go.
Jerome K. Arbutny: That gives us just time to make our wish.
Jerome K. Arbutny: Wish?
Crystal Shackleford: Yes, I mentioned that Kwan Yin would not only open her eyes but her heart as well. Whatever we ask for she will grant.
Johnny West: Oh, that's the kind of lady I like.
Crystal Shackleford: The only difficulty is it has to be the same wish for three of us.
Johnny West: What could that possibly be?
Crystal Shackleford: I've been thinking about it for several days. You see, the wish I had my heart set on ...
[...]
See more »

Soundtracks

I Dreampt I Dwelt in Marble Halls
(uncredited)
Written by Michael William Balfe (as Michael Balfe) and Alfred Bunn (1843)
Played by Johnny on broken record in prison cell.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quality movie.
16 October 2007 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This is one fine made movie. It has a greatly written script and a top-notch cast.

It sounds like a cliché of course but it's a real shame that movies like these aren't being made and written anymore. At least not on such a commercially large scale and with such fine big name actors in it. Movies like this aren't made anymore simply because movies like this don't really sell, unless they are being made exceptionally good.

It's not really a film-noir, although the movie certainly shows similarities to the atmosphere and the story also shows noir tendencies. The movie in the end is perhaps a bit too 'light' to consider it a real film-noir, also because it features quite an amount of subtle black comedy.

The story is solidly constructed and focuses on three different characters and plot-lines that of course are all still connected to each other. The fine script was written by Hollywood legend John Huston. It features lots of deeper themes such as greed and jealousy. You really start to care about the characters and their problems. Something that isn't too common for a '40's genre movie. It's not always an easy movie to watch and follow so make sure you watch this movie with a clear head. The dialog might be a bit overlong by todays standards but its so fine written and delivered by the actors that you tend to look past this.

The movie gets really carried by the three main characters, that equally share the screen time. I was especially impressed by Sydney Greenstreet, which also might due to the fact that he had the best- or at least most credible plot line. Peter Lorre also played a great role and gave a fine performance. Geraldine Fitzgerald was definitely the least of the three actors and she tended to overact a bit in some of the dramatic sequences. But overall her role was also really a solid one and it says something about the quality of the acting from Lorre and Greenstreet to say that Fitzgerald gave the lesser performance of the movie. Alan Napier also plays a small role. Oh man, it really seems to be that this guy is in about every 'old' movie that I watch lately. Napier received his most fame for playing the butler Alfred in the Adam West "Batman" series from the '60's.

The editing of the movie was also surprisingly good and fast. Instead of long single camera sequences, the movie cuts back and forth between different camera positions in the same sequence rapidly. It gives the story speed and helps to keep you interest even during the more slow and dull moments of the movie. The fine little musical score was from acclaimed composer Adolph Deutsch, whose music suited this movie and its atmosphere really well.

It's a fine good old fashioned quality movie, made with limited resources but with fine experts involved.

8/10


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